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All About Lilacs

One of the favorite “old timey” shrubs are Lilacs. These fragrant Spring bloomers have evolved to a variety of cultivars of different sizes and colors. Beyond the typical shades of mauve-purple, Lilacs are also available in white, blue, pink, & lavender. You can mix different varieties of Lilac to have bushes that bloom in early Spring but also bushes that will bloom mid to late season.


Our advice for planting Lilacs is to check the tag on the specific variety or varieties that you have selected to see the room needed and place in the appropriately sized spot that will receive at least 6 hours of sun. Follow our planting instructions here.



Prune spent blooms to encourage continued strong blooming. You can snip the blooms just past the leaf after they have faded. Lilas set bud almost immediately after flowering so when the entire plant has stopped blooming, you can do a heavier prune. If you do it much past this point, you will remove next season’s blooms. Remove older limbs that are bigger than 2″ and keep the sizes of the leftover limbs to achieve a balance of different sized limbs. You can also remove scraggly, dead, or twiggy branches off set from the bush. We love Monrovia’s article covering pruning techniques on Spring flowering shrubs here.  We recommend not topping Lilacs to have a “flat top” but to shape into a slightly rounded top for a better appearance.



Feed with a high phosphorus but low nitrogen fertilizer in early Spring to promote blooming.